Thursday, April 30, 2009

Buggy Ride

Cycling is my antidepressant, and all the side effects are good.

We had a meeting at work to discuss various economy related matters. It was during this meeting that the thought struck me that what I really needed was a good ride, so, after I got home, I went out and had one.

It was warm windy and hazy out when I hit the road, but I was so glad to be spinning the pedals. I took off a moderately hard pace, not pushing it very much, letting my legs stretch out and my mind loosen up. I could already tell it was going to be a good one.

The stuffed sausages I have been using lately were replaced with real legs sometime during the night. They weren’t great legs. After all, they were still mind, but they were honest to goodness legs none the less.

As I went up the second hill, I saw four young women in two pairs, once pair on each side of the street, and they were dressed oddly nicely. It made me thing I was looking at a scene from 1953. (Why 1953 instead of…oh…1955? I have no idea.) Why were there four women wearing high heeled shoes and skirts and so on wandering around the neighborhood? Just to make my day a little more surreal, I assume.

The dog on the chain was in his large form today, and the way he jumps on that chain at every passing car and cyclist (he’s an equal opportunity canine) I’m surprised his neck isn’t three feet long. He wished me well and sped me on my way quite nicely.

The wind was very peculiar today. I could feel it. I swear that I could feel it. It was blowing right in my face. And yet…every flag that I passed was motionless, hanging limp. How could the wind be blowing right in my face and yet a flag ten feet away and fifteen feet up is motionless? Does the wind only blow where I am? What’s going on here?

At my turnaround point, I saw a sign that said, “Mount Carmel Church Road.” I had two thoughts. The first was, “Another religious road name.” The second one was, “I bet Mount Carmel is a fun place.”

I passed a church with a sign out front that, instead of having a pithy saying on it, was advertising a pancake breakfast May 2. Pancakes. Hm. I wish I had some pancakes right now. Why can’t you buy powerbars in pancake and maple syrup flavor?

Apparently I should have eaten before I started this ride.

Going down a long staightaway, I had to pick a couple of bugs off of my arms. I remembered walking down that same road just last night in the belly of the 2000 pound beast, and so many bugs were splattering against the windshield that it sounded like it was raining out. I was glad it wasn’t that buggy this afternoon. That inevitably made me think of the time I was riding with my mouth open and a very large bug flew right in, bumped the back of my throat and headed on down. It did not taste very good.

About a mile from home, I was back in the neighborhood and I saw a UPS truck parked at the side of the road. Just as I passed it, the truck started up, and I decided to make it work to pass me.

Now, I’m not suffering from any delusions of grandeur here. I know that I can’t seriously compete with a truck, okay? But I just decided to go as fast as I could until he passed me.

I spun the gears out and I was just flying (well, you know, for me, I mean) and I figured I’d have to hold that for twenty or thirty seconds and then the truck would pass me.

Only, it didn’t. The darned truck stayed behind me. That meant that I had to keep that high pace up. “Why doesn’t that guy pass me?” I thought. But I kept the pace up, going as hard as I could go. In fact, I managed to raise the pace a bit, and still he didn’t pass me. I hit a downhill stretched and tucked in to bomb down it, and the truck turned off.

Of course, right after the downhill was a short uphill stretch, and I didn’t want to waste all that speed, so I pushed up it as hard as I could go, and then I could see the house only a half mile away, so obviously I had to keep the pace up until I got there…

That UPS truck tired me out.

But today I looked more like a cyclist and less like a guy riding a bike.

And it was the best ride I’ve had all week.

Nice, huh?

See you on the road.

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